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[IPk] Demo in Oxford, 29th January

Hello all,

I met Dr Simon Festing, Executive Director of RDS (Research Defence Society) 
last night after he spoke in proposition of the motion 'This House Would 
Accept the Use of Animals in Medical Research' at the Oxford Union. At 
drinks he overheard me speaking with another type 1 patient about how glad 
we are personally that Banting and Best had the freedom to try their 
pancreatic extract on a pancreatectomized dog to make sure it worked. Dr 
Festing has asked me to circulate the message below, which he has just sent 
to me.

Animal research is a very hard subject and I do not mean to start a battle 
on the list. I am posting for informational purposes only. I might not be 
able to attend the demo because of work, but if you are keen to take part, 
please e-mail me (email @ redacted) or Dr Festing directly 
(email @ redacted). Please feel free to forward this message if you 

Type 1 11+ years; MiniMed pumper 7.5 years; Animas pumper 1 year


Invitation to take part in a symbolic demonstration in support of the new
research centre at Oxford University

11.00 am on Saturday, 29th January in central Oxford.

We are looking for a few patients to stand outside the building at Oxford
(which is a half-built empty shell at present) for about half an hour, as a
photo-opportunity for the local media or other media. We will only go ahead
if we get at least six participants so no-one will be isolated. We will have
placards and leaflets. I will be there to field media interviews.

Our demonstration will be timed to be on the same day as an animal rights
protest happening later on. However, there will be no contact between the
two groups, and we do not anticipate any confrontation.

We would want the patients to be available for about half an hour. We will
organise the arrangements ourselves and reimburse any travel expenses and
give any other help. Anyone from the Oxford area or anywhere reasonably easy
to travel from is welcome.

We do not expect that any patients will be named (unless they wish to be -
as some do), nor will there be any link to any organisations apart from RDS
and SIMR. Oxford University are aware of what we are planning, but we will
be independent of them. The police will be informed as a formality.

You may be interested to know that there was one patient with multiple
sclerosis who demonstrated openly in support of the Cambridge facility at
the time when that was subject to similar animal rights protests.  Although
she was clearly identified, she never had any problems being targeted by the
extremists.  I have myself debated this facility on Newsnight against the
animal rights group, and have been prominently featured on the extremists
website - but have not had any problems.

We do not, therefore, anticipate that this photo-opportunity would involve
any significant risks. But participants should understand the nature of the
protest against the new research centre.

The patients who have agreed so far are very enthusiastic. I hope this will
be a good event for anyone who feels that the voice of the patients should
not be lost in this debate!

Please let me know your thoughts.

All the best

Dr Simon Festing
Executive Director
RDS, 25 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EG
Tel: +44 (0)20 7478 4383
Fax: +44 (0)20 7478 2627
Mob: 07860 898030
E-mail: email @ redacted
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